Small businesses throughout Los Angeles and Southern California — bars and restaurants, cinemas and theaters, gyms and salons — have seen their operations curbed or closed over the past couple of week as local and state authorities attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
And residents and businesses could be looking at several more weeks under a "shelter at home" order, if not months.
In the meantime, government, business, nonprofit and other organizations are putting together resources — financial and otherwise — to help small businesses survive the crisis. For example, Los Angeles has put together a Small Business Resilience Toolkit with information about federal, state, county and city emergency policies and programs impacting small businesses as well as strategies for adjusting to the effects that COVID-19 is having on businesses.
L.A. Biz has assembled — and will continue to add to — a list of them here. If you come across a resource that should be added, email me at email@example.com.
The city of Los Angeles has established a Small Business Emergency Microloan Program to support local community businesses with $11 million in no-fee microloans of $5,000 to $20,000.
Los Angeles County is partnering with Goldman Sachs and other banks to launch a $28 million relief fund to help small businesses weather the coronavirus crisis on April 21. Businesses can find information about how to access available funds and get updates on the new relief fund at the County’s Disaster Help Center website.
The Jewish Free Loan Association is offering interest-free loans to businesses affected by the coronavirus.
Accion USA is a microfinance lender with a focus on affordable small business loans for microentrepreneurs.
The U.S. Small Business Administration is working with state governors on Economic Injury Disaster Loans. SBA’s Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. These loans can provide economic support to small businesses to help overcome a temporary loss of revenue and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct Economic Injury Disaster loan. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.Find an Express Bridge Loan Lender via SBA’s Lender Match Tool or by connecting with your local SBA District Office.
As part of a $50 million global philanthropic commitment, JPMorgan Chase will commit $8.5 million to provide vulnerable and minority-owned small businesses with liquidity and support services in five U.S. cities — including Los Angeles — and five countries that have been hard hit by the COVID-19 global pandemic. In L.A. Opportunity Fund and Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE) will receive a combined $1 million.
Business support and information
The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation offers confidential consulting through its Layoff Aversion Program. The program helps business owners with alternatives to letting workers go and offers resources for hiring and training employees, as well as assistance with access to financing.
The Los Angeles Economic & Workforce Development Dept. offers business transition services to support businesses and employees through layoffs with resources on job searches, unemployment insurance, health benefits and pensions, financial planning and career counseling.
LA Labor & Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) has information and links for workers and employers, including guidance on protecting workers, offering work sharing, fact sheets and transmissible diseases model plans for businesses.
Under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) law, all U.S. employers confronting a mass layoff, relocation or termination must give employees a minimum of 60 day notice prior to event. More information and resources on the WARN process can be found on the California State Employment Development Department website.
The Los Angeles Business Source Center provides local businesses with hands-on guidance on business planning, taxes, loan preparation and more. Locate a center here.
Los Angeles County Consumer & Business Affairs aims to protect consumers and business from price gouging during the crisis.
Numa, an answering service powered by artificial intelligence that ensures businesses never miss a call or text, is temporarily waiving all fees for at least two months, as well as contract and credit card requirements, to support businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Find more info here.
California.com is offering no-cost business profile pages on its website to California-based businesses that meet its Recommended Business criteria for the 2020 program year. To nominate a business or to see if you qualify, please submit your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
From now until June 15, 2020, customers worldwide can get 60 days free of a paid individual Adobe Spark plan by signing up for a special one-time trial on the web. Find the full announcement along with details on how new and existing customers can take advantage of the offer here.
Support for workers and families
Stay up to date on the Mayor's Office announcements on the coronavirus here.
The California Employment Development Department (EDD) has in informational page with guidance on what programs are available and what situations may be applicable to your circumstances, including disability or paid family leave benefits and unemployment insurance benefits.
LA Labor & Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) has information and links for workers and employers, including special guidance for health workers and childcare providers. You may be eligible for unemployment benefits if your hours have been reduced, you lost your job, you’re taking care of someone with COVID-19, or you have been exposed to or have COVID-19. Find resources on this easy-to-read chart.
LA Jobs Portal: This website helps those who have lost their jobs or have had their hours cut back as a result of COVID-19 find and apply for jobs and find information.
LA Economic & Workforce Development Department (EWDD) has WorkSource and YouthSource centers providing resources remotely, via phone, email and social media.
- WorkSource: EWDD operates 16 WorkSource centers and 3 portal offices in L.A. that offer free employment services to adults, dislocated workers, veterans, the homeless and the re-entry population.
- YouthSource is a free city-wide program for people ages 16-24 that offers career and job skills training, college preparation and counseling.
Legal Aid at Work offers legal assistance and information on workers' rights. For example, if your child’s day care or school is closed you may be able to take off up to 40 hours to take care of your child.
LA County Health Services: Will help with immediate care, a check-up, or ongoing care for a chronic medical condition. Browse its services and find DHS resources here.
LA County Department of Public Social Services health care homepage contains information on health care programs and services that are available to residents of LA County. Health programs cover the needs of everyone regardless of age, race, or immigration status, including programs for children and youth, pregnant women, families, seniors, persons with disabilities, and single adults.
Medi-Cal: To view Medi-Cal Policy, click DPSS ePolicy Click on "Your Benefits Now!" to apply. Or applications can be mailed to the Medi-Cal Mail-in Application Office at: P.O. Box 7267, Los Angeles, CA 90007-9819.
Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is a nonprofit that helps with food assistance. Find a local food pantry here. Pantry distribution dates and times are subject to change, so be sure to call the pantry to verify information.
CalFresh is California's food stamps (SNAP) program. Apply to get up to $192 a month per household member on an EBT card.
Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Supplemental Nutrition Program provides nutrition education, breastfeeding support, vouchers for healthy foods, and referrals to healthcare and other community services. WIC serves babies and children up to age 5, pregnant women and new mothers. To qualify for the program, the family's monthly income must be below185 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). If receiving Medi-Cal, the income must be below 200 percent of the FPL.
For information about housing, job training, after-school programs, healthcare, utilities, and more, call 2-1-1 or visit http://211ca.org.
Los Angeles Unified School District has food, health and learning services for students and families. See the resources list here.
- The district, in partnership with the Red Cross, is providing meals to all students who need them during the temporary closure of schools. Its 64 Grab & Go Food Centers are staffed weekdays from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Each child can take home two meals. Find a center
- The Division of Student Health and Human Services is offering health support. Some school-based health clinics and wellness centers are open. Here's the list.
Support your community
Donate to the L.A. Emergency COVID-19 Crisis Fund, whichsupports the city’s response to the pandemic. Funds support families, small businesses, relief for healthcare workers, equipment for health response, services for the homeless and real-time research.
LA Emergency Management Department provides information and training on preparing for emergencies and offers sign ups for free emergency alerts.